Finding a good brunch in Paris is a bit like a treasure hunt. You need a map and a ghost pirate telling you where to go if you want to find gold. Acting as resident mythical pirate, I highly recommend these seven (actually six) Paris brunch spots if ye seek brunching treasure. Some new, some old, one that doesn’t actually serve brunch (yet), all are sure to please.
What can I possibly say about Holybelly that anyone with a propensity towards brunch consumption doesn’t already know? The Australians are taking over the coffee scene in Paris, and we are the grateful recipients of this bless-ed coffee invasion. In this case, two Parisiens spent time in Melbourne and brought the best of that breakfast culture back to Paris.
So let me break it down. Aside from the beautiful skylight, fresh food, and friendly staff, there are three reasons that make Holy Belly one of the best brunch spots in town:
- Beverage needs covered. Get a coffee, whatever your taste: Drip, flat white, cappuccino, what have you. It’s a must. If you’re the type that likes a boozy brunch, then they’ll have at least one cocktail option. Sometimes a Bloody Mary will enter stage left as the cocktail of the day, which is the glory of every brunch menu. They have their own branded mugs, iced coffee in the summer, and even started bottling their own Holybelly cool brew.
- Pancakes with fried eggs, bacon, and bourbon butter.You heard me. Bourbon butter. Order this unless you want to live with regrets for the rest of your life. They also have some mean Huevos Rancheros and other egg/hashbrown/mushroom/lunchy options which are all delicious. But get the pancakes. (Get the pancakes). Have I overstated my personal preference?
- The Holybelly brunchtime jams will make you want to stay all day with each new song that hits the list.
But you can’t do that because there are 20 people waiting outside for a table, so freakin’ eat your brunch, be in heavenly bliss, and pay up and get out so other people can do the same. No reservations, so be prepared for anywhere from a little to a long wait that will be so worth it.
The newest brunch in town! (I can’t possibly keep track of every brunch in town, I can’t support this claim.) It’s the newest brunch in town that everyone should care about. Case in point, that avocado toast with poached egg, piled with fresh herbs. Insert Homer Simpson drooling noise.
Or, more precisely, those pancakes, which were light and sweet, served with perfectly sweetened whipped cream, fruit, and mint. Holybelly and Dersou officially have the best pancakes in town, and they are completely different. You’ll just have to try both.
Clockwise from the top: Pancakes with fruit & honey; Griddle toast with tomatoes, mozzarella, bacon, asparagus & fried egg; avocado toast with poached egg, feta, radishes, & herbs; fish & chips.
I’m pretty sure that chef Taku Sekine has changed up the menu every Sunday so far, but pancakes, granola & yogurt, and thick slices of seared toast piled high with deliciousness have remained as staples up to this point.
To drink, there’s fresh pressed juice served in cute baby carafes, cappuccino, tea, or a cocktail of the day. And there’s something to be said about the big open room flooded with natural light. No reservations are accepted, so arrive at a reasonable hour or be prepared to sit at the bar.
If Taku decided to add a noodle dish or two, like his fantastic bo yu, cold soba noodles, or homemade noodles in bouillon, I’d probably quit all other brunches for life.
3. La Bellevilloise
This is more of an institution than a hot spot. La Bellevilloise has been around for a while and is more about the atmosphere than the food. The food is all you can eat, which is rare in Paris, but the true standouts are the beautiful open room, live jazz music, bottomless cups of coffee in giant mugs, fresh juice, and a pastry tree, for crying out loud.
Those Nutella-filled beignets caused multiple return visits on my part for the beignets alone. Sadly, I was never able to stumble upon them again, but I will keep the dream alive. Being an all-you-can-eat buffet (29 euros), the food doesn’t make you shout for joy, but when it comes to atmosphere, this place can’t be beat for a fun jazz brunch with friends.
Be sure to reserve in advance for their 11:30am or 2pm service.
They have American brunch classics like eggs benedict and Bloody Mary’s, alongside some seriously delicious breakfast twists like corned beef hash with gnocchi & quail eggs (!!!), fried cheddar potatoes, an omelet with ricotta, oyster mushrooms, and pesto, chicken chilaquiles (the equivalent of breakfast nachos), and a dutch pancake with bacon jam (top right). Why is anyone even still reading about this when I just said the words “bacon jam”? Just go.
My brunch companions and I ordered nearly the entire menu, and were so happy we did. We oohed and ahh’d and devoured plate after plate in brunchful bliss. Though I visited Ellsworth on their opening night and really enjoyed it, I thought brunch was where they really strutted their stuff. Reservations accepted and recommended.
Coutume is known for their coffee, so add that to some delicious brunch options like their “Oger” plate piled with ham, eggs, potatoes and veggies, or the detox veggie option (vegetable heavy, obviously), or once upon a time an occasional breakfast burrito (breakfast burritos & breakfast tacos are the only thing left to make my Paris the perfect city. There is a serious lack of breakfast tacos/burritos, and it needs immediate attention). There’s the possibility to add on breakfast pastries, yogurt & granola, desserts, and a plethora of coffee options.
For a change of pace, have an authentic Mexican brunch. Coffee, granola, fresh squeezed juice, and tartines play alongside their fantastic tacos and other Mexican fare du jour. Photos and details here.
Speaking of Mexican brunch… This is not an existing brunch yet, so it doesn’t technically belong here, but I’m going to mention it anyway because if it ever does become a brunch, it has to be on this list. Apparently they talked about having a regular Sunday brunch with breakfast burritos, which would make life in Paris complete. In the end, this idea is on hold, but let’s all keep an eye on them just in case.
Runners up include Les Enfants Perdues, Le Bal Café, and Chez Casimir, all worthy Sunday brunches.
On my “to try” list:
Luckily, my friends and I just started a Sunday Brunch Club, so week by week we’ll start making the rounds. If anyone has any other brunch favorites that we should add to the rotation, I’d love to know. More detailed info on prices, hours and addresses can be found below.